Sunday, December 20, 2009

#63 - Steve Swisher

Card fact: This isn't the first card in the set to feature a player who had a son who played in the majors (Buddy Bell, Bobby Bonds). But Swisher is the first player in the set to have a son who is currently playing in the majors.

What I thought about this card then: Swisher belonged to the club of "Guys Whose Stats Suck," along with players like Gene Locklear and Pepe Frias. As children, we mercilessly mocked these guys.

What I think about this card now: I have found this card rather difficult to upgrade. I kept the card I pulled as a kid, but when I set out to complete the set, and upgrade the cards from my childhood, I had a heck of a time finding Swisher in good condition.

All I can think of is more people collect his card now because Nick Swisher is in the majors. I don't know why that would make a career back-up catcher more popular, but how else would you explain to me why I'm still not satisfied with my upgrade of this card? And I've upgraded it three times.

Other stuff: Swisher was the manager for the Triple A Buffalo Bisons in the late-1980s, just as I began following the team when I was in college. He just missed -- by a couple of years -- getting interviewed by me. Your loss, Steve. The stories you could have told.

Back facts: Did people really once call spitball pitchers "cuspidor curvers"? I know people talked funny in the old days, but that seems far-fetched for even then. ... Also, Topps has a rather broad definition of "fine rookie campaign," since in this case it includes batting .214.

Oldie but goodie: Here is the original Swisher card from when I was 9.

Not bad for a 34-year-old card, especially when it's from a time when no one knew what a penny sleeve was.

Other blog stuff: I'm going with "the lime design" for this color combo. It works for me.


Johngy said...

Mike Piazza once put Steve into a conversation of the greatest catchers. He listed Yogi, Bench, Fisk, then kind of paused and stated that Swisher had one of the greatest arms. Of course, it was during the time when Nick was Piazza's teammate, but still...
Also, Swish was an All-Star (although I don't know why Madlock didn't make it instead).

Play at the Plate said...

I didn't know Nick's dad played. He looks thrilled to be posing for that picture.